What is a Lateral Partner in a Law Firm?

Whether you’re currently at university or law school and studying with the end goal of embarking upon a career in the legal sector, or else involved in another industry with a vested interest, the world of law is both a complex and a multi-faceted one. 

A key element of law practice is the area of lateral hire and lateral partners and here’s an explanation of both. 

A Lateral Partner — What Does it Mean?

Lateral partners in the context of a law firm are those professionals who are currently working for another law firm, either in the same area or else farther afield and are hired by a different law firm.

By and large, lateral hires in the world of practiced law are usually to fill the senior positions which are substantially more difficult to recruit to, such as executive and senior executive roles. This is just one of the main reasons why lateral partner recruiting is so popular and successful, with the new law firm benefiting from an experienced and well-versed professional and the old firm receiving a significant sum of money. 

Benefits of Lateral Hires 

As you might expect, lateral hiring is a key component of recruitment, and as such, the benefits to law firms are more than a little similar to the benefits to any company, regardless of the industry in which they’re based.

There are four main, overarching advantages to the lateral hiring process, which are:

  1. More time to onboard as lateral hires need far less training and upskilling
  2. An experienced and competent leader of specific and highly skilled projects
  3. A heightened level of experience, professionalism, and more complex skillsets
  4. The addition of a new field of knowledge from newly qualified hires 

The Key Stages of Lateral Evaluations 

Before a law firm decides whether or not to go ahead with a lateral hire, it’s first necessary to conduct a thorough and accurate evaluation of the proposal, which can be broken down into five key stages:

  1. The understanding of the specific statistics
  2. The identification of strategic targets for lateral hires 
  3. The highlighting of exact expectations 
  4. The analyzing of previous successes with lateral hires
  5. Research into the lateral hire’s professional objectives 

Other Ways to Improve & Expand a Law Firm

Lateral hiring is perhaps the most popular and indeed, the most effective and ultimately successful process when it comes to working toward expanding and improving a law firm. There are, however, several other key ways to grow such a company, which includes making cost savings with a view to sustainability, such as remote and hybrid working options, meetings through video calling software and even court hearings held virtually.

Other proven-to-be-effective ways of expanding and improving a law firm include the nurturing of current clients and the drive toward attracting new ones through digital marketing strategies and looking to rework the financial payment system for clients who are currently going through a lawsuit to free up more cash.